Author Topic: Help Finding a Fee Based CFP and or Estate Planner for Parental Units  (Read 1511 times)

dcozad999

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For perhaps the first time in my life my father has talked to be about his investments, even asking me I want to help manage them. This is pretty significant because they have always been pretty hush hush about money with us. I remember as a teenager and young adult a few times about their salaries or investments (really just curious) and being told it was none of my business.

He's 72 with various health issues. My mother is 68 and suffered a stroke a few months ago (she was very lucky and recovered wonderfully besides some slight memory issues). Besides these issues, they come from families with several people living well into their 90's. My father worked over 30 years for the Postal Service and has a very nice pension. My mother has a small pension from the state of Kansas. Combined with their social security checks, they really don't have any need (currently) to withdraw and live on any of their investments.

I told him he needs to go to an estate planner and a fee based financial planner, so I'm trying to find him a local company for this. My parents have never done a will, which I've tried to mention several times over the past couple of years. They know it needs to be done, and say they will get around to it eventually. I'd also like them to get some sort of trust set up to protect their assets in case something happens. His inheritance from my grandmother is still as is in the trust she left him, but I'm pretty sure they have a mid to high six figures in other investments, as well as their paid off house.

I guess you didn't need all that background. My questions are how do I go about finding a local CFP and Estate Planner beyond just googling it?  I've asked around and no one in my social network has any experience with this. I can't seem to find any rating system online to vet these guys/gals. I'm kind of lost on this process.

I found a company that sounds good (below). They offer a free initial consultation. If we go in for that, what kind of questions should we ask? What is a standard fee if we go through with it? Should I be at the meeting or just send my parents in alone? They were both pretty sharp people in their day, but they have both changed over the past several years and seem to have trouble making decisions. My father has become very cynical the last few years and seems to think everybody is a crook out to get his money.

Here is the company I'm looking at. Any red flags you guys can see jumping off the page?

http://claytonfsi.com/














StacheInAFlash

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Re: Help Finding a Fee Based CFP and or Estate Planner for Parental Units
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2015, 11:21:07 AM »
Sounds like you have done things right so far. There really aren't a ton of fee based financial planners, and using the NAPFA search feature on their website is the only way I've really found any either. Assuming your parents are in Topeka, I'd say you've found the one to go with. That being said, I wouldn't hesitate to call some of the other ones in other KS locations to get a feel for their fees. You aren't going to need to meet with them too often, so finding one in Kansas City or elsewhere wouldn't be the end of the world.

And you definitely need to be at that meeting! Don't take no for an answer. Your dad asked you for a reason.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2015, 09:00:02 AM by StacheInAFlash »

MDM

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Re: Help Finding a Fee Based CFP and or Estate Planner for Parental Units
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2015, 09:45:33 PM »
No red flags so far. 

Next test will be the estimated cost of the one time plan.  From the OP it appears that ongoing monitoring is not needed - but it may be worth the one time "here is the list of what you need to do" review.

One could argue that if the estate is "only" a few million dollars or less, having beneficiary designations on all accounts and a simple will including instructions for all assets without beneficiary designations is sufficient. 

As for investing, they could combine everything into a fund such as https://personal.vanguard.com/us/funds/snapshot?FundId=0724&FundIntExt=INT, then check it twice a year or so, and get on with life.

Of course, if there are complexities you didn't want to mention then more complex and/or ongoing work might be justified.